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President Trump Threatens to Pull Federal Funding Over Deadly California Wildfires

15 November 2018
President Trump Threatens to Pull Federal Funding Over Deadly California Wildfires

The Woolsley Fire was one of three burning wildfires in the state along with the Camp Fire in northern California, which burned the entire town of Paradise.

Trump tweeted Saturday that "there is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly fires in California". "Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!" he said. Two people were found dead in a wildfire in Southern California, bringing the total number of fatalities for the state to 25. "It was the event we have feared for a long time", Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said at a Friday evening news conference. "Regrettably, not everybody made it out". There are still 35 people missing.

Reality star Kim Kardashian, who evacuated the area with her family earlier, said on Twitter parts of the home she shares with husband Kanye West in Calabasas was destroyed.

The Woolsey fire has also caused 200,000 people to evacuate the city of Malibu.

The Camp Fire's most significant growth period was early Thursday afternoon, when it grew 10,000 acres in about 90 minutes - burning the equivalent of more than one football field every second during that time.

Officials took advantage of temporarily calm conditions to assess damage from the blaze that has burned 109 square miles (282 square kilometers) north and west of downtown Los Angeles.

The Orange County Fire Authority sent two strike teams to the assist firefighters battling the Woolsey Fire, Capt. Steve Concialdi said.

In Thousand Oaks, a community mourning 12 people killed in a bar this week, a recreation center where survivors grieved after the mass shooting was filled with people fleeing the fire.

President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration providing federal funds for Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. On the ground, cars were reduced to metal carcasses, while power lines were also gnawed by the flames. A massive wildfire swept through the area, Thursday, and the roads were so clogged with vehicles, that some drivers left their cars and ran to escape the flames. As firefighters struggle to contain the trio of uncontrolled wildfires - the Camp, Woolsey and Hill fires - forecasters say intense winds and low humidity over the weekend could fuel the blazes and make them spread even farther.

"If you've been told to go, get out of there", Los Angeles County Sheriff Department Chief John Benedict said.

The fire has also reportedly destroyed one of the sets for the TV series Westworld.

In Malibu, some 500 miles (800 km) to the south, flames driven by hot Santa Ana winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour (80 kph) raced down hillsides and through canyons toward multi-million dollar homes. "They'll get assignments to a fire to help with suppression efforts on some of the fires that are burning there right now, or they'll be staging".

Hundreds of thousands across the region remain under evacuation orders, and could stay that way for days as winds pick up again.